Monday, April 25, 2016

The Perfect Recipe Project is 5 years old today!

Happy birthday to my blog! I started this blog five years ago with the goal of documenting my recipe experiments for replicability and for the internet to enjoy! Five years and more than 73,000 views later, I'm still true to my cooking philosophy: perfect recipes are creative, simple, healthy, inexpensive, and delicious. 

Although I may not post frequently, the 182 recipes I've already posted should keep any visitor to my blog busy for a while. The truth is, my recipe collection has almost reached saturation. I mostly cook recipes that are already posted. You can see my favorites here. When I develop a new staple, every now and then, I'll post it. 

For nostalgia's sake, here is a link to my very first recipe post, Brown Rice Jambalaya. I've served it more times than I can count since first posting it, and it's been the centerpiece of many get-togethers.

Crockpot or Instant Pot Chipotle Pork Chili

We are huge fans of pulled pork in my house. I wanted to try something a little different and make it into a one pot meal. The result is like pulled pork and chili had a Cuban black bean baby. It is wonderfully inexpensive and versatile. You can eat it on its own, in a burrito, on tacos, on nachos, or over rice.

Update: I recently bought an Instant Pot, and have been enjoying converting my slow cooker recipes to super fast pressure cooker recipes. Serious Eats just posted this article about how pressure cookers are usually at least as convenient as slow cookers and produce food that tastes better. I agree. I like that with a pressure cooker, I can put the meal together just an hour or two before I'm ready to eat, rather than having to plan ahead and do it in the morning before I leave for work. Plus, the Instant Pot allows you to saute right in the unit, adding a richer flavor. Regardless, the Instant Pot also has a slow cooker setting, so there is a lot of flexibility. I'll be updating some of my older slow cooker recipes, including this one, with information about how to convert them to Instant Pot or pressure cooker recipes.

Chipotle Pork Chili
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 bell peppers
6 cloves garlic roughly chopped
4 lbs pork loin or sirloin roast, cut into 3-inch chunks
2 t Goya Adobo seasoning
1.5 T cumin
1.5 T oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
1 T paprika or ground New Mexico chiles
1/2 -1 can chipotles in adobo, mashed with a fork in the can (a full can will make a spicy chili, half a can will make a moderately spiced one)
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
2 T Worcestershire sauce
3 15 oz cans black beans, drained thoroughly (I like the kind with garlic and oregano), or 3/4 lb dried beans, soaked in water overnight and drained. If using dried beans, add an extra 1/2 cup water to the pot before cooking
1 T sugar or Splenda

Slow cooker instructions:
Dump everything in slow cooker and stir. Cook 8 hours on low. Shred pork with two forks and return to pot. Pork should be fall-apart tender at this point, so break it up a bit with a spoon.

Instant Pot or pressure cooker instructions:
Saute veggies in Instant Pot while preparing remaining ingredients. Dump everything in and stir. Set Instant Pot to "beans/chili" setting for 60 minutes. Use quick steam release. Pork should be fall-apart tender at this point, so break it up a bit with a spoon.

Suggested accoutrements:
sour cream
salsa or pico
cheese
cilantro
tortilla chips
corn tortillas